By Freya Lucas, The Sector, July 1, 2019.
The likelihood of flourishing – that is, doing well in life despite adversity – is true for children across all levels of household income, health status and exposure to adverse childhood experiences.
The findings, published in the May issue of Health Affairs, suggest that more emphasis should be placed on programs to promote family resilience and parent-child connection, in conjunction with continued efforts to lessen children’s negative childhood experiences, such as poverty or maltreatment.
Dr Christina Bethell, lead author of the study, noted that family resilience and connection were key components required for all children to flourish, regardless of their level of adversity, adding that the connection between a parent and their child had “a particularly strong” association with child flourishing.
To conduct the study, data from the National Survey of Children’s Health were used, as findings from the survey provide a nationally representative sample of over 51,000 school-age children between ages of six and seventeen.
Children’s parents or guardians answered a series of questions about child flourishing, family resilience and connection, the child’s exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), household income (using federal poverty-level guidelines) and whether the child had a chronic condition and special health care needs.